But Why, New Yorker, Why?

"A consensus held that the spread of hors d'oeuvres (grilled-lamb skewers, sesame-crusted ahi tuna) would have passed muster at the Top of the Week, the I.M. Pei-designed dining room in the magazine's erstwhile Madison Avenue headquarters, where, from the early-"Mad Men" era (when the Washington Post Company bought the magazine) through the Clinton years, bow-tied catering remained a sacrosanct line item and booze was still regarded as a nutritional essential, one consequence of which was that staff members occasionally entertained sexual fantasies about one another."--Mark Singer (though I bet there's also an editor and copyeditor or two to blame for this sentence), on the closing of Newsweek, in The New Yorker 1/28/13

Let's assume that you can and may write a sentence like this--can, in the sense that you in particular have the skill, creativity, and chutzpa to do so, and may in the sense that such a sentence is permitted by the rules of grammar. But why, oh, why would you want to? I understand that the front-loaded, jam-packed, descriptive-clause-heavy sentence is part of the charm, necessity, and tradition in the wonderfully condense "Talk of the Town" pieces. Still, the question remains. Why would you cram two sets of parentheses, five hyphenated descriptors, eighty-five words, and fifteen column lines into one sentence so convoluted that a reader of average intelligence and dexterity (like me) trips eight times before getting through it, and even then doesn't understand the point it's trying to make?

And I'm not even going to bring up the issue of the final bit, about staff members occasionally entertaining sexual fantasies about one another, even though, content-wise, it seems like the ending to a different sentence from the one we started out reading. I just want to understand your reasoning here; I just want to believe you ran this sentence for a purpose other than showing off or making fun yourself.

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